by kevin diamond (pics by amy davis)

Surfer Blood was a bit like the town bicycle during CMJ – every showcase got a ride. We were one of at least 13 CMJ showcases that was lucky enough to book these guys on the cusp of their breaking it big. I thought today we’d take a closer look at these dudes.

Lumped in with a slew of surf-centric lo-fi bands, Surfer Blood actually distinguish themselves in a couple of ways from the rest of the pack. For one, their recordings are meticulously constructed. Take, for example, Floating Vibes, who’s intricate guitar work brings to mind Built To Spill, while echoin in it’s chorus the hook-centric approach Rivers Cuomo brought to the early Weezer catalog.

Artist: Surfer Blood
Song: Floating Vibes

Surfer Blood aren’t afraid to play around with genres and rhythyms that their contemporaries lo-fi-ers shun. The string work at the end of “Floating Vibes” brings to mind Ra Ra Riot, while songs like “Harmonix” take a page out of Arcade Fire’s play book, essentially recreating the beginning of “Neighborhood #2.” On other tunes, Surfer Blood show an interest in the African guitar sounds and rhythms that came to a head with Vampire Weekend.

This is not to say that Surfer Blood sounds like any of these bands. The sum of these parts is enough to set them apart from a band simple aping it’s influences. The album is meticulously constructed, recorded well, and written with a pop sensibilty that’s undeniable. It’s not a mystery why these guys are so talked about. It’s just a matter of time before one of these tunes ends up in a beer commercial, so enjoy them now before they get ruined forever.

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